Big Lessons from Little Creatures

Decisions, decisions. There’s always plenty of those to be made. Some are easy, some not so much, but most of the times we think we have it right, that we are doing what is best. Or at least hope we are.

But there are times when we are shown that we are most likely not. We are shown that caution is not always the right course of action; sometimes we just need to dive in head first.

What I find is that some diving decisions are easy. I have moved to different countries without giving it much thought, I knew I wanted to, and I just didn’t stop to think about what could go wrong. I didn’t know any people in the new country. Oh well, I would meet some new ones. I needed to finish a rather expensive school there. Oh well, I’ve been to school before and I’ve done quite alright. I didn’t speak the language. Oh well… tricky, but I’ve learned other languages before.

But when it comes to diving head first with other people, fear leaps in. Are the risks worth it? What if I will regret this for the rest of my life? When you think too much about these, well you end up holding the others back. Your fears become their fears. And you will regret this for the rest of your life.

Luckily, sometimes we have no choice. And it’s probably smaller things that make a bigger impact. It’s probably silly, but we have been reluctant to let Kid 1 bike in the street, and therefore bike towards places, because of his complete lack of experience biking in traffic. Now, as we are holidaying on a nice island that is not too friendly towards pedestrians (maybe so that you rent bikes from them), we have been forced to rent him a bike for the week so that we could make it to the pool, beach, etc and back. It was either going places with great effort and annoyance, or trust that he will make it there in one piece. He has been listening to us, making a real effort to abide by the rules, but most of all, he has been enjoying himself tremendously.

Things can still go wrong. But the longer we wait, the harder we make things for him. Trust may very well be earned, but in the case of smaller creatures, we need to start by having some trust or it will never be earned. Trust does not just come out of the blue. Without opportunities to prove themselves, the smaller ones will never be able to show how trustworthy they are (or are not).

The same goes for the other little creatures in our lives. Our untrained, previously mistreated puppy also needs a chance to prove she is trustworthy. It was only when we let her loose that she started to behave better. And she has always come back to us, albeit filthy and smelly from a weeks-old-water ditch. That she just had to cross. Twice.

The point is, letting go can be the best thing we can do sometimes. It empowers the ones in our care. It creates happy memories for them. And unless we have been horrible to them, they will always come back. Holding on for dear life does not make bonds stronger, it will just stretch them until they snap. I need to keep learning to let go, and to dive head first. Maybe even push others head first. And keep hoping they will come back.

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2 thoughts on “Big Lessons from Little Creatures

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  1. I’m with you–easy to make changes when my screw-ups will only affect me. When the kids are involved, I hang on tighter. Good job with the little one on the bike. I’m still working with one of my eight-year-olds, who doesn’t want me to let go!

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    1. Thank you! It is a bit different when they are the ones who won’t let go, the urge to push comes a little easier haha! But it’s tricky either way, you don’t want to scare them or make them mistrust you, but at the same time they do need to dive in by themselves. I haven’t found the middle ground yet, but I am looking.

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